In 1938, God saw fit to bring into this world a little boy. He saw that it was good to grant Philip and Ruth a child. This little boy would grow and rebel, marry and have children, and then one day be drawn to Christ in saving faith. God had a plan and design to lead his child to Himself. One that would allow His glory to be seen and many to be blessed because of the love of He who dwelt within Philip and Ruth's child. His name was Philip Day Lukens. He was my grandfather and today is the first birthday that many will not wish him a happy day. Many will forget that today was the day he was born, for we are all fading flowers, no matter how beautiful.
But what I want others to remember isn't the many intricate details that made up the life of Philip Day Lukens, but rather one simple fact. A fact that is represented in the photo that was chosen for this post. A photo that, for everyone that new him, represents him not only in appearance, but also in action of faith.
Today I want people to think of my grandfather as C.H. Spurgeon calls us to in his entry from last evening. Also a timing that only God could orchestrate. I pray that today those who loved my grandfather in this life, that they would rejoice with the following words written by our dear brother Spurgeon.
"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am." John 17:24
O death! why do you touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches weariness has rest? Why do you snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all our delight? If you must use thine axe, use it upon the trees which yield no fruit; you might be thanked then. But why will you fell the goodly cedars of Lebanon? O stay thine axe, and spare the righteous. But no, it must not be; death smites the goodliest of our friends; the most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted must die. And why? It is through Jesus' prevailing prayer--"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am." It is that which bears them on eagle's wings to heaven. Every time a believer mounts from this earth to paradise, it is an answer to Christ's prayer. A good old divine remarks, "Many times Jesus and his people pull against one another in prayer. You bend your knee in prayer and say Father, I will that thy saints be with me where I am;' Christ says, Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.'" Thus the disciple is at cross-purposes with his Lord. The soul cannot be in both places: the beloved one cannot be with Christ and with you too. Now, which pleader shall win the day? If you had your choice; if the King should step from his throne, and say, "Here are two supplicants praying in opposition to one another, which shall be answered?" Oh! I am sure, though it were agony, you would start from your feet, and say, "Jesus, not my will, but thine be done." You would give up your prayer for your loved one's life, if you could realize the thoughts that Christ is praying in the opposite direction--"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am." Lord, thou shalt have them. By faith we let them go.